Last month, LinkedIn announced a couple of new features to all the recruiters who pay to use their service. They essentially help recruiters find and connect with passive candidates - a/k/a people who aren't actively searching through job postings, but are willing to hear about opportunities if the employer reaches out to them. These are the candidates recruiters are most interested in talking to. Why? There's an industry-wide assumption in recruiting that someone who is so busying succeeding in their current job doesn't have time to look for a new one. That's the exact kind of winner hiring managers want to steal away from other employers.
So, Why Haven't You Heard About These Features?
I haven't seen a lot of promotion of these new features by LinkedIn to the audience that can benefit from it most: job seekers. Granted, maybe I'm not part of their target market, and thus, am not getting the marketing. But, my guess is they may be slightly worried about the backlash from employers who don't like the idea of their employees turning on a secret beacon to let other employers know they're open to jumping ship. That being said, if you are a job seeker who is currently working and need to conduct a stealth job search, here's what you need to know:
1) Hit the "On" switch. In the "Jobs" tab on LinkedIn you will find a Preferences section. Click on that and you'll be able to turn on the feature that lets recruiters know you are open to being contacted. It also lets you select criteria in terms of job title, etc. NOTE: If you are worried about a recruiter from your current employer might see it, LinkedIn says, "we got you covered." They've built a way for recruiters from your employer to not see you have the switch on.
2) 1/2 apply to a job if you want to. Now, if you start to apply to a job on LinkedIn but don't finish it (i.e. don't have time because you are late for a meeting), it notifies the company's recruiter so they can take a look at your profile and reach out to you if interested. In short, half applying to a job is better than not applying.
Making Recruiters Come To You Is A Science
The tips above can offer a great ROI. For a few minutes of your time, you could see a little more action from recruiters on LinkedIn. But, if you really want to get the best opportunities, getting recruiters to come to you takes skill. There's a science to optimizing your profile and activity on the platform. The question is, "How much are you willing to invest to get a better job?" In my experience, those that do more than the quick hacks are the ones who end up with their choice of job opportunities. They also sit in the driver's seat when it comes to negotiating their salary. In short, the more you leverage the power of LinkedIn, the better it is for your career.